Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Gwyneth Paltrow on why she quit acting to become an entrepreneur


When Gwyneth Paltrow launched her lifestyle website, goop, in 2008, many people were a little mystified – not least by the name (a play on her initials, FYI). Why would an established actress decide to put her successful career on the back burner in order to focus on a website?

Paltrow came in for particular flak once the public saw the content being published on goop. The site has never, it’s fair to say, occupied a realm that any of us would recognise as reality. Paltrow dished out recipes for bread-free sandwiches, said she’d rather smoke crack than eat cheese out of a tin, and compiled gift guides worth hundreds of thousands of dollars (anyone for a $244 “toothpaste squeezer”? How about a pair of headphones costing $55,000?). Then, of course, there was the vaginal steaming.

But in a new op-ed, Paltrow says she has no regrets about walking away from her less-contentious former career. The one thing she says she might do differently? The whole “conscious uncoupling” chapter.

In the post for LinkedIn, Paltrow says that her decision to launch goop was, in retrospect, “perhaps not that well thought out” – but that she is now “as professionally fulfilled and happy as I have ever been in my life”. 


"Hello. I've been waiting for you": Gwyneth at a launch for goop skincare earlier this year.

“I have always slightly been wrestling with this punk rock a**hole kid inside me who wants to buck tradition and do things her own way,” she writes.

Gwyneth Paltrow, punk rock icon? It doesn’t seem like an immediately obvious fit, but the lifestyle entrepreneur insists that she’s got a tough streak.  

“I (basically) walked away from a career where people kissed my ass to being grilled by a VC or my board,” she says. “I used to worry about myself and myself alone, and now I am responsible for the livelihoods of 50+ people.”

Read more: Meet the women who walked away from high-powered careers

Paltrow adds that she has often experienced subtle sexism in the criticism she receives for goop. “Some of the other women who have followed suit [in launching a lifestyle brand] and I are often pitted against each other,” she writes.

Celebrities including Blake Lively, Elizabeth Banks and Olivia Palermo have tried their hand at launching their own lifestyle brands since goop’s inception. But, Paltrow says, supposed competition between the women involved is “a bizarre imaginary triangulation that none of us feel”.

These kind of rumours, Paltrow says, are usually easy enough to shrug off. But the one kind of tabloid speculation she can’t bear is gossip about the state of her business. In July this year, Paltrow appeared at an event with Zooey Deschanel – founder of yet another lifestyle site, HelloGiggles – where she made a speech in which she said that she hoped “one day no one will remember that I had anything to do with [goop].”

Read more: A-list advice on how to heal a broken heart

Paltrow’s comment was widely misinterpreted as meaning she was planning on leaving the site – a misreading that led to some awkward moments with goop’s financiers.

“There is a difference in your mum calling you to ask if it’s really true that you were shopping for an engagement ring (nope) and your venture debt bank calling you to say “what the f**k is going on?” when they read multiple terribly reported stories that you are leaving your own business,” Paltrow writes.


"I have always slightly been wrestling with this punk rock a**hole kid inside me": Gwyneth Paltrow

Ultimately, however, Paltrow says she’s proud of what she’s achieved with goop – except, possibly, the manner in which she announced her divorce from Chris Martin on the site.

The infamous “Conscious Uncoupling” post “wouldn't be appropriate now,” she says. “It is a much bigger business and I'm not sure it would be the right place to do something like that.

“At the time, it was still very small and very personal. It was such a difficult time in my life and I was trying so hard to protect my children and my family, Chris included. We were both fragile. It was really tough. To me it felt like this is a quiet way to do this and it is contained.”

Like it or loathe it, it looks like goop is here to stay. 

Read Gwyneth Paltrow's full post here.

Images: Rex Features



Why am I so tired? Five foolproof ways to beat office fatigue

scandal olivia pope kerry washington.jpg

Senior women of Wall Street share their best career advice


Why and how to change career in your early thirties


These are the nine most expensive cities to live in the world


Six women who've traded the 9-5 office haul for a life less ordinary

sara orla and me blog.jpg

The lifestyle blogger who traded city highs for a move to the country


The best A-list Instagrams from the weekend

From Ella Eyre’s autumnal spirit to Serena Williams’ mother-daughter selfie

by Nicola Colyer
16 Oct 2017

Nigella Lawson reveals why red is the ultimate foodie colour

As she tracks her gastronomic love affair with all things crimson

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Oct 2017

Big Bang Theory star faces fierce criticism for Harvey Weinstein op-ed

“I have almost no personal experience with men asking me to meetings in their hotel rooms”

by Moya Crockett
16 Oct 2017

Kate Hudson’s brilliant comment in response to seeking male approval

She might even bring back the Mullet

by Susan Devaney
16 Oct 2017

Kate Winslet defied boss when she left Weinstein out of Oscars speech

“I remember being told, ‘Make sure you thank Harvey if you win’”

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Oct 2017

Evan Rachel Wood wants you to know why she hasn’t named her rapists

Everyone needs to watch this powerful and emotional video message

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Oct 2017

James Corden apologises for those “offensive” Harvey Weinstein jokes

After Rose McGowan furiously dubbed him a “f**king piglet” for making light of the scandal

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Oct 2017

Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas confirm engagement with in-sync posts

But don’t worry, GoT fans: Maisie Williams is still the big love of Turner’s life!

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Oct 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Kristen Bell’s magical find to Ariana Grande’s touching tribute

by Nicola Colyer
13 Oct 2017

JK Rowling nails the huge problem with this viral sexual assault tweet

Twitter has applauded the Harry Potter author for this expert takedown

by Kayleigh Dray
13 Oct 2017